Scary Food: One Girl’s Bug is Another’s Big Yum

We all like to scare ourselves silly at Halloween. But usually, the goose bumps are a reaction to a frightening event we see or hear, not something dished up on a dinner plate. Here I am, though, in the awful position of trying offal at Teutonia Mannerchor in Pittsburgh’s North Side. An auxillary member, I’ve […]

View More

What’s for dinner: Coconut shrimp with pineapple puree

Coconut shrimp is usually pan- or deep-fried, which adds unwanted calories. This easy recipe from celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito, served with a spicy-sweet sauce, is baked so it has just 178 calories per serving. My kids are dippers, so I doubled the amount of pineapple; to add even more heat, I quadrupled the chili sauce. […]

View More

What’s for dinner: Korean beef stew with napa cabbage and pickles

Dill pickles and chopped jalapenos give this easy stew its unique, tangy flavor. It also makes good use of napa cabbage, a crinkled, elongated cabbage that’s sweeter than regular cabbage and a main ingredient in kim chi, the national dish of Korea. I couldn’t find fresh mung bean sprouts at my local grocery store, so […]

View More

What’s for dinner: Italian-sausage stuffed apples

It’s apple season, but alas, one can eat only so many desserts. This recipe transforms fall’s favorite fruit into a hearty main dish. I used sweet-sour Jonagolds, but any large baking apple will do. Be careful not to scoop too much of the flesh out when hollowing the apple. To serve as a side dish, […]

View More

Throwing a party for the bride, mom-to-be and more

Ready to party? You’re in good company. This is the time of year when people crawl out from under their rocks and start thinking about how to best celebrate some of life’s major milestones. The latest crop of soon-to-be high school and college grads await their diplomas. Scores of expectant moms are counting down the […]

View More

May the Force Be With You in Sedona

SEDONA, Ariz. — You needn’t be a desert rat to fall instantly in love with the rugged, red-rock monoliths that define this enchanting city of artists in northern Arizona’s Upper Sonoran Desert. Nor do you have to be a New Ager, although if you believe in the mystical power of vortexes — there are 15 […]

View More

Amazing Amalfi Coast

POSITANO, Italy — Here’s what you expect on a visit to the Campania region in southern Italy. Fresh pasta that’s literally to die for. Equally delicious red wine that, no matter how much you drink of it, never gives you a headache. Scenery so gorgeous along the dizzying, winding Amalfi Coast that you have to […]

View More

An Irish Ramble

DOOLIN, Ireland — No one wants car trouble on vacation, especially when the sun is setting and, thanks to poor planning, you still haven’t found a room for the night. But if you’re going to blow a tire in Ireland, this pretty little seaside village on the northwest coast of County Clare is the place […]

View More

Sauce fundraiser benefits Italian earthquake victims

The world reacted in horror when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the medieval city of L’Aquila in central Italy on April 6, killing more than 300 residents and injuring more than 1,500. The devastation was particularly tough for Josephine Coletti of Ben Avon. The retired teacher grew up in the village of Opi, one of […]

View More

The Net Result: Energy saving design cuts Pine home’s utility costs to zero

Shawna and Sherwood Johnson’s custom home on Lake MacLeod in Pine takes your breath away, and not just because of its million-dollar-plus price tag. Nestled on a 1-acre lot with a view across the water of the Mission-style boathouse, the five-bedroom contemporary designed by FortyEighty Architecture boasts a two-story great room with a millstone fireplace, […]

View More